Trump Attorney John Eastman Surrenders in Georgia

He is one of the 19 people accused there of trying to illegally overturn election results
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 22, 2023 11:21 AM CDT
Trump Attorney John Eastman Surrenders in Georgia
Attorney John Eastman, the architect of a legal strategy aimed at keeping former President Donald Trump in power, in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

John Eastman, the conservative attorney who pushed a plan to keep Donald Trump in power, turned himself in to authorities Tuesday on charges in the Georgia case alleging an illegal plot to overturn the former president's 2020 election loss. Eastman was booked at the Fulton County jail before being released by authorities, per the AP. Eastman is charged alongside former President Donald Trump and 17 others, all of whom are accused by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of scheming to subvert the will of Georgia voters in a bid to keep Joe Biden out of the White House.

Eastman, a former dean of Chapman University law school in Southern California, was a close adviser to Trump in the run-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters. Eastman wrote a memo laying out steps Vice President Mike Pence could take to interfere in the counting of electoral votes while presiding over Congress' joint session on Jan. 6 in order to keep Trump in office. The indictment alleges that Eastman and others pushed to put in place a slate of "alternate" electors falsely certifying that Trump won, and tried to pressure Pence into rejecting or delaying the counting of legitimate electoral votes for Biden.

Eastman's legal team has said the indictment "sets out activity that is political, but not criminal." In a statement, his attorney said: "Lawyers everywhere should be sleepless over this latest stunt to criminalize their advocacy. This is a legal cluster-bomb that leaves unexploded ordinance for lawyers to navigate in perpetuity." Eastman is also facing possible disbarment in California over his efforts to meddle in the election. Trump has any denied any wrongdoing, and characterized the case—and three others he faces—as an effort to hurt his 2024 campaign for president.

(More John Eastman stories.)

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